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  • Writer's pictureJohn Curtis


THURSDAY: November 17, 2022: MARC Chevalier’s breakthrough provincial winner – and on his home track to boot – capped a terrific outcome for Hawkesbury stables today.

Chevalier’s victory with recent acquisition The Crimson Idol ($9.50) was followed by Jason Attard and Lucy Keegan-Attard’s success with Kozluca ($8.50) and Titled Tycoon ($9.50) producing a barnstorming finish to score for Michael Freedman.

The Hawkesbury treble boosted to 57 the number of winners trained from the track so far this season.

Expatriate Frenchman Chevalier was understandably overjoyed to post his first provincial winner with The Crimson Idol, who defeated Chenin ($4.60) and Mussenphere ($10) in the XXXX Gold F&M Benchmark 64 Handicap (1500m).

“To achieve this on my home track makes it even more special,” a delighted Chevalier said this evening.

“It’s been a while coming, and we’ve had a few placings at the provincials, so it’s great to finally tick that box.”

Chevalier, who moved from Melbourne in May last year with his wife Charlotte to take out his training licence and set up shop at Hawkesbury, won his first race with Tri Nations at Bathurst in January.

He was especially pleased to win with seven-year-old mare The Crimson Idol for general practitioner Ulysses Crosson, who provided him with a huge boost to his Hawkesbury stable at the beginning of the season.

“I bought a mare (Pitavago) off Ulysses last year, and he gave me eight horses when Wyong trainer Jeff Englebrecht decided at the end of last season not to renew his licence,” Chevalier said.

“So nice to repay him by winning with The Crimson Idol today.

“She gave a ton of cheek at Kembla Grange earlier in the month in a similar benchmark race at 1600m at big odds ($26) and was just caught in the closing stages.”

Apprentice Julia Presits rode her then, and had the mount again today as The Crimson Idol gamely chased down front-runner Mussenphere, and then held off Chenin’s late finish.

Chevalier says he fell in love with the thoroughbred in France when he was 16 years of age, riding them work on the beach at Normandy.

“Their speed and beautiful action got me,” he said.

Chevalier had a superb grounding, working with major studs and stables in France, the UK, the Hunter Valley, New Zealand and Victoria before deciding last year he was ready to branch out and train on his own.

Team Attard, thrilled to see their fellow Hawkesbury trainer clinch a provincial breakthrough, made it four wins for the season (all on home turf) when Kozluca (Rachel King) edged out White Boots ($7.50) in the Blakes Marine Midway Benchmark 64 Handicap (2000m).

Kozluca and Sovereign Express gave the popular couple a home double on August 9, and Shooting Pasture also scored there nine days later.

Kozluca, a five-year-old by Exosphere, clinched the third victory of his career and his co-trainers paid credit to his winning rider, who, with eight wins, leads the Hawkesbury premiership in the first third of the season.

“Kozluca has a few tricks, but Rachel is fond of him and he really responds to her,” Lucy Keegan-Attard said.

“She comes out to Hawkesbury, as does Rory Hutchings, to help out riding trackwork and course proper jumpouts.

“We will see how Kozluca pulls up, but he might have a little freshen up before we target some 2000m races in town around the Christmas-New Year period.”

Royal Randwick trainer Michael Freedman’s second stable at Hawkesbury is on the march.

Titled Tycoon’s overpowering finish, with Keagan Latham aboard, to land the Lander Toyota Conditional Benchmark 68 Handicap (1300m) was his fifth winner of the season, putting him second only to Hawkesbury’s leading trainer Brad Widdup (20 wins).

Titled Tycoon, a Written Tycoon five-year-old, also posted his third career success.

Racing without winkers, he went back from an outside draw and was still last of the nine runners at the 400m.

But such was his finishing burst at his first start since June that he swamped Byron ($9.50) and the Terry Croft locally-trained Just A Brother ($10) in the final few strides.

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